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Two dead as heavy rains cause flash flooding in Portugal
2004 10 24

LISBON (AFP) - Strong winds and rain across Portugal have knocked down trees and caused flash floods, disrupting travel and are blamed for the drowning of two people, officials and press reports said

A 63-year-old man drowned Wednesday after he was caught up in a flash flood in the northern town of Maia, located some 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of Lisbon, family members told daily newspaper Jornal de Noticias.

A 26-year-old woman meanwhile drowned after she was swept up into a swollen river on the island of Sao Miguel, the main island of Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores archipelago, daily Correio da Manha reported.

Wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour knocked down scores of trees Wednesday, especially in the north of the country, blocking roads and damaging cars, emergency services officials said.

Flooding at a subway station in second-city Oporto, in northern Portugal, forced the partial closure of the underground train system for some 90 minutes early Wednesday, a subway spokesman said.

Portugal has been lashed by heavy winds and rain since Monday. The rough weather caused a fishing boat with six crew to sink off the port of Aveiro earlier this week. No survivors have been found.

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